The Game of Thrones season five finale has broken previous piracy records, with millions downloading illegal versions of the HBO show just hours after it was broadcast.
The figures, as gathered by TorrentFreak, suggest that HBO threats to target those behind illegal downloads of Game of Thrones have not had any impact on pirating of the show.
In just eight hours, Game of Thrones season finale episode ‘Mother’s Mercy’ – episode 10 of the fifth season – had been downloaded 1.5 million times and TorrentFreak suggests that this could expand to 10 million illegal downloads in the coming days.
The episode has also broken the record for the record for the highest number of people sharing a single file at the same time: more than 250,000 people shared a single torrent of Game of Thrones simultaneously.
Illegal downloads are taking place all over the world, but the pirates are particularly prevalent in the US, the UK, Canada and India.
Game of Thrones has long been the most illegally downloaded television show in the world. Indeed, the opening episode of season 5 was even leaked before its premiere on HBO and Sky Atlantic in April.
Andy Archibald, deputy director of the National Cybercrime Unit, part of the National Crime Agency, recently warned that those who freely pirate television shows via illegal download are on a slippery slope to committing more severe acts of cyber crime.
“The really interesting one – and I wouldn’t want anyone [in the audience] to comment with a show of hands – but if you think about the illegal downloading of music and videos, I think that practice is more common than you might imagine in the youth of today,” he said
“That’s criminality. That’s the first stages of a gateway into the dark side.”
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